Walking the Great Wall…

How hard can it be to measure a wall? You get out the measuring tape, place the end of it at one end of the wall and read off the answer at the other end. You might miss out a centimeter or two if you are not paying attention, but that should surely be about all. To miss a kilometer of wall looks like carelessness. But to miss 12,345 kilometres of it...what were they up to?

It was recently announced that the Great Wall of China is not 8,851 km long, as previously measured back in 2008. It is 21,196.18 km long – more than twice as long as it was four years ago. It makes you wonder where were they measuring it from to get an error that big – the moon? Jokes aside, it must really be a difficult task to measure a structure that long. Not for no reason was it included in the list of New Seven Wonders of the World. They say it is the only man-made structure on earth that can be seen from the moon. Well, we don’t know if it’s true; we’ll probably have to go to the moon to check out or the easier way would be to ask the astronauts. However, there’s no doubt that the Great Wall is one of the must-see-in-a-lifetime attractions.

China has now opened its doors and brought its walls down (pun intended) for tourists. For many years China was closed for foreign tourists and Indians, in particular, were not welcomed as tourists or otherwise. Hence, China has always remained a kind of mystery for us. But tourism was important as a means of earning foreign exchange. After the realization dawned upon them, China started promoting tourism vigorously.

You will be amazed to see its beauty and the fascinating things it has to offer, which were till now hidden from the outside world. Hong Kong represents the new and dynamic Asia with its high-rises and the ever-magical Disneyland, while Beijing is one of the most visited cities of the world offering a lot to do and see. The main attraction of Beijing, the Great Wall, was first built more than 2,200 years ago to fend off foreign invaders, and was reinforced and extended many times during later dynasties. You can take a cable car ride to see this wonder. Walk the great wall and you’ll be left amazed with the stunning vistas it offers. Beijing is also renowned for its Forbidden City.

Ringed by a 52m-wide moat at the very heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings, and the largest palace complex in the world. So called because it was off limits for 500 years, when it was steeped in stultifying ritual and Byzantine regal protocol, the otherworldly palace was the reclusive home to two dynasties of imperial rule. Then there’s Xian’s Terracotta Warrior Museum. The Terracotta Army isn’t just Xian’s premier site, but one of the most famous archaeological finds in the world. This subterranean life-size army of thousands has silently stood guard over the soul of China’s first unifier for more than two millennia. One of the ancient wonders of the world, this army is truly mindboggling. You have to see it to believe it.

And you just can’t miss the Electro mobile ride in Shanghai, which takes you through the Huangpu River tunnel and the visit to Jin Mao Tower that offers magnificent view of Shanghai city from the Observatory deck. With the Gondola ride in Zhujiajiao Water town known as the ‘Pearl Stream’, you will be left awestruck. And the Chinese cuisine! Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it? Wolf down Peking duck, size up a sizzling lamb kebab, gobble down a bowl of noodles, spicy Hunan food, momos, tsampa and many other titbits from China tantalize your taste buds.

China is so large that it’s impossible to see it all in one trip; the islands in Hong Kong, Shanghai’s skyline or the mind-blowing peaks of the Himalayas. Everyday something new would surprise you and you'll undoubtedly be left with a multitude of picturesque memories. So get ready to walk the great wall!

Team Veena World